Big data is now a commonly used term within the business world and many companies are implementing solutions to make the most of the untapped data within their systems. It’s no longer ‘new,’ but how businesses are choosing to use this data is changing. Beyond traditional uses of big data there are exciting ways for organisations of all size to better leverage the information gleaned to make more informed decisions and ultimately, run their business better.
Typically, big data is seen as a huge mass of information which businesses can mine to better understand customers, make financial predictions and improve sales forecasting. These are of course obvious uses and ones which remain hugely important and fundamental to business success. However, beyond these typical uses, businesses are starting to have interesting conversations and think more strategically about how they can further use the information they gather to better enhance their business and decrease risks.
With research conducted by Forrester earlier in the year predicting 37 per cent of businesses are planning a big data project, here are some of the different ways these investments in big data can be made.
Linking Weather and Retail
It might seem obvious to combine the two but aside from Tesco, few businesses have considered just how beneficial this could be until recently. For example, analysing when we’re likely to expect hot weather to ensure ice creams are stocked up and summer clothes are a plenty. Wastage is a huge problem for many organisations as they are unsure of requirements at any given time. As a result, too much is potentially ordered which leaves shelves left full of unwanted items and a decline in profits for the business!
Analysing Network Performance
For Telco providers, operating in a highly competitive environment, gaining as much real-time insight as possible on the customer profile and behaviour represent a growing source of differentiation in order to increase retention and satisfaction. However, using data to understand customers isn’t necessarily new and hopefully most businesses are recognising the value in doing so already. What is more exciting, is the ability for Telco providers to use data to better understand the customer experience received around network performance – after all, this is the lifeblood of communications service providers.
Mitigating risk is a huge use of big data for all businesses, whether it’s to reduce risk of overstocking shelves or simply to decrease the chance of losing a customer. However, when it comes to fraud, the benefits of being able to spot potential risks and fraudulent situations early have huge benefits beyond costs savings. Fraud is a hot topic of conversation, it happens all the time and as loopholes continue to appear, the situation is only going to get worse. Data is the answer and, with the right technology, provides businesses with the tools they need in order to capture, search and analyse this data in real-time.
These are just a few examples, but with both Gartner and Forrester predicting 2013 will be the year of large scale adoption of big data technologies, it’s exciting to see how these uses continue to develop. Every day we are seeing the doors opening to those businesses who think more creatively about big data, maximising every piece of insight gathered in order to make business changes that positively influence success.